To the Yeah.
With the cancellation of Kiefer Sutherland’s current TV series, Touch, Fox has decided to go back to something that was working well enough for them, and have signed on for another adventure with everybody’s favorite counter-terrorist agent, Jack Bauer. 24: Live Another Day will be tick-tocking across our TV screens this time next year:
Rumors of an off-again/on-again/off-again feature film vehicle for Jack Bauer have circulated since well before the series ended after eight seasons in 2010. There even was talk (almost all unsubstantiated, so far as I can tell) about teaming Bauer up with other venerable screen heroes, like equally grizzled bad-ass John McClane, he of the Die Hard movies. However it appears that the consensus is that cramming the 24-hour story conceit into a 2-hour film would remove much of what gave the series its unique identity. 24, it seems, is best served on television.
According to the reports, 24: Live Another Day will be a 12-hour “limited series” set for next summer, and will compress the show’s well-worn format so that 24 hours play out in half the time. Some hours will be skipped, and so on. I think this can work, as there was more than a little material in various episodes over each of the seasons that sometimes came off as filler, and this approach might help to keep the plot train on the tracks. If nothing else, this trick should help reduce the instances of implausibility with respect to travel, since the show’s latter seasons seemed to play fast and loose with the notion that–for example–everything in Los Angeles, Washington or NYC is 10-15 minutes away from everything else. Sure it is…if you’re traveling inter-dimensionally.
If Live Another Day is successful, it might open the door to follow-up events, and more bad days for Jack. I’m down with that. As a fan of the show from Day 1–ever-maddening plot twists and increasingly tired tropes and other warts and all–I’ve missed Bauer and his on-screen antics these past three seasons. And hey, if a revival of the show means a renewed interest in tie-in licensing, maybe I’ll still get a shot at writing a 24 novel, one of these days.
(Irrelevant Shameless Whoring Moment Concluded.)
One thing that kind of bugs me is one report that says this might not be a continuation from the series, but some kind of “standalone” adventure that doesn’t take into account where all the pieces were at the end of Day 8. Jack was in pretty dire straights–on the run, disavowed by the president, and so on–and I’m hoping that plot thread is resolved. Also, the producers took Bauer down a very dark path toward the end of the final season, and had him cross some lines where I thought they went too far, and I hope that’s addressed, one way or another. Finally, after all the turmoil he’s endured over the years, I think it’s way past time that Bauer just catches a damned break, already.
I don’t know about anybody else, but I plan to be there when the clock starts ticking.